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Hole-in-One for charity

Bronx Times

A hole-in-one will mean summer fun at a camp for children with cancer, as well as pediatric cancer research.

A rare feat in golf at the Bronx-Manhattan North Association of Realtors’ annual outing will yield a $10,000 donation to two cancer charities: Camp Good Days and Special Times in Branchport, NY for children with cancer, and Project to Cure, which funds pediatric cancer research under the North Shore-LIJ System.

This comes as Rubin Pikus, CEO of Milbrook Properties, shot a hole-in-one on a contest hole to win $10,000 during the Realtor group’s 78th annual outing. He has donated his winnings to the two charities.

“I always play in the golf outing, and I felt very fortunate and privileged to give back,” said Pikus, adding that he was surprised when he shot the hole-in-one on the 11th hole at the Fresh Meadows Country Club with his 185-yard specialty club.

The course for the 11th hole at Fresh Meadows slopes downhill, and it was his second hole-in-one, having scored one in Florida, he said. Pikus’ family has been in the real estate business for 80 years, he said.

Eliezer Rodriguez, executive director of the Realtor’s group, said that Pikus decided to make the donation at a fund-raising dinner after the golf outing to benefit Camp Good Days and Special Times, which the group has been supporting as it’s official charity since 1988.

“Rubin Pikus raised his hand and said ‘I am donating $5,000 of my winnings to Camp Good Days,’ and it just floored everybody,” said Rodriguez. “It was a magical moment and it did not have to happen - he did not have to raise his hand at all. He could have just walked away with the whole prize and no one would have said anything about it, but he had other expectations of himself.”

Rodriguez said that it is even more extraordinary it was on a tournament hole where a prize is awarded for a hole-in-one. Since 1988, the BM-NAR has donated about $250,000 to Camp Good Days.

The camp’s representative, Tony Gasparre, 55, said at a check presentation ceremony on Friday, August 9, that charitable giving is essential to his organization providing a full camp experience to children with cancer because they accept no government money.

“We charge the same amount we have charged for the past 34 years for each camper – zero,” said Gasparre. “All you have to do is get the camper to our front door.” The children enjoy the normal trappings of a summer camp for four-and-a-half days at a time, including rock climbing, canoeing, fishing, archery, basketball and volleyball, said Gasparre.

“On behalf of the children and families we serve at Camp Good Days, we are so grateful for the continued support from the members of the Bronx-Manhattan North Association of Realtors,” he said.

Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda was on hand to celebrate the donation, saying that many people should be made aware of the charitable giving of BM-NAR.

“My hole-in-one is a hole-for-many,” added Pikus. “My winnings are going to a good cause and I feel good about that. I want to encourage others to be generous because our kids are worth it!”

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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